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First UK Drive: Mercedes-Benz E 450 Coupe 4Matic. Image by Mercedes-Benz.

First UK Drive: Mercedes-Benz E 450 Coupe 4Matic
No AMG badging any longer but, boy! Is the E 450 Coupe a proper ‘sleeper’ fast motor...


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Mercedes-Benz E 450 Coupe 4Matic

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5

Mercedes-AMG's move towards hybrid power for the first stage of its performance models is giving rise to the '53'-badged cars, which will see a slow phasing-out of the old '43'-badged vehicles using this 3.0-litre V6. Which means the superb E 450 Coupe is basically a facelifted 'AMG E 43' in all but name...

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: Mercedes-Benz E 450 4Matic AMG Line Coupe
Pricing: E-Class Coupe range from £41,370; 450 4Matic AMG Line from £52,855; car as tested £63,570
Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol
Transmission: 4Matic all-wheel drive, 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic
Body style: two-door coupe
CO2 emissions: 202g/km (VED band 191-225: £1,240 first 12 months, then £450 per annum years two-six of ownership, then £140 annually thereafter)
Combined economy: 32.1mpg
Top speed: 155mph (limited)
0-62mph: 5.6 seconds
Power: 367hp at 5,250-6,000rpm
Torque: 500Nm at 1,800-4,500rpm
Boot space: 425 litres

What's this?

It's a Mercedes E-Class Coupe with a new badge, because it was previously known as the 'E 400', where it delivered 333hp. But now, the E 450 has 367hp and 500Nm, all delivered from a 3.0-litre, twin-turbo V6 petrol. If this set of stats sounds familiar, that's because they should - in almost identical trim, it powers the smaller C 43 models and has previously found a home in an E-Class from AMG, ramped up to 401hp for the pre-facelift E 43.

So why are we not looking at a Mercedes-AMG, we hear you ask? Well, that's simple: up at the higher echelons the E-Class operates at, Affalterbach is phasing out the plain-petrol V6 43s, in favour of electrically-assisted straight-six '53' models instead. The CLS is the first beneficiary of the 435hp six-pot mill plus 22hp/250Nm of 'EQ Boost' back-up, while the E-Class is following suit. That means you'll have an E 53 and E 63 hierarchy for AMG products, which leaves the top 'Benz' E-Class as this E 450. Which is basically an E 43 facelift. Honestly, we hope you're following all this...

Thing is, this is a stunning car in many respects, AMG badge or not. The E-Class Coupe remains a gorgeous-looking contrivance and AMG Line trim with 20-inch alloys as part of a £645 Night Package do nothing to harm its aesthetic charisma. The interior has the full whizz-bang E-Class wow-factor thing going on, its Widescreen Cockpit and first-class finishing making the cabin befitting of a car twice the E 450's £63,570 asking price (as tested, with options). The only slight black mark here goes to rear passenger space, because while the E-Class Coupe is one of the most accommodating two-door, four-seat machines in the world, you'd still have to be very generous to give it any sort of tag other than '2+2'. You can get six-footers back there, but they'd only want to be sitting in the rear of the E 450 for quite short journeys, because it's simply not as capacious as any vehicle with doors offering access to the back of the car.

How does it drive?

Wow. That 367hp engine certainly doesn't mess about. The E 450 Coupe feels extraordinarily strong all the way around the rev range, to the point that the 5.6-second quoted 0-62mph time feels like a grotesque misprint. Better still, the drivetrain has a lovely, rorty note to it that only enhances the whole performance of the car, as it just sounds quick, no matter how you're driving it. Honestly, this 3.0-litre engine, the flawless 9G-Tronic automatic 'box and Merc's effective 4Matic all-wheel drive all conspire to make one seriously fast, genuinely talented coupe.

It's engaging too, with meaty, informative steering, good body control and that innate ability which only some larger cars possess - namely, it feels smaller and more compact than it actually is. Of course, on tighter roads you're acutely aware of the fact you're in something that borders on the GT-size side of things, but you can nevertheless get the E 450 into a rapid, enjoyable flow that makes this coupe feel properly sporty. Naturally, it's simply epic if you're not driving it hard, because the level of noise suppression in the cabin, the quality of the ride and refinement, and the smoothness of the V6 drivetrain turn the Mercedes into an effortless, near-peerless cruiser when you need it to be.


While no E-Class is what you'd call slow, there are certainly plenty of choices when it comes to the faster end of the product line. And while your eye might, in a Mercedes showroom, be immediately drawn to something with an AMG badge on its backside, to automatically ignore the E 450 Coupe would be foolish. This is a magnificent grand coupe, that does the luxury cosseting thing as well as it does an entertaining blast down a quiet road. That this car can be bought for less than £65,000 also makes it, in relative terms, something of a bargain, because there are some approaching-six-figures machines which don't feel half as rewarding and desirable as the Mercedes E 450 Coupe.

5 5 5 5 5 Exterior Design

5 5 5 5 5 Interior Ambience

4 4 4 4 4 Passenger Space

4 4 4 4 4 Luggage Space

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Safety

4 4 4 4 4 Comfort

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Driving Dynamics

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Powertrain

Matt Robinson - 17 Dec 2018    - Mercedes-Benz road tests
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2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe. Image by Mercedes-Benz.

2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe. Image by Mercedes-Benz.


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